INDONESIA’S central bank says the country needs to boost its exports amid rising foreign debt as the government seeks to accelerate its infrastructure projects.
Bank Indonesia (BI) senior deputy governor Mirza Adityaswara said in Jakarta that while Indonesia's foreign debt was still under control, the country’s deficient export value had caused the current deficit to reach historic proportions.
Indonesia has an external debt to gross domestic products (GDP) ratio of 34.5 per cent, similar to Thailand's 33.9 per cent, he said, adding, however, that Indonesia's external debt to current account receipt was 169.9 per cent while Thailand and Malaysia's were 46.4 and 9.0 per cent respectively.
“Thailand's foreign debt situation is similar to ours, however, they generated far greater foreign currency income from their exports to pay their debt,” he said in Jakarta.
Therefore, he stressed that the focus of investment in Indonesia should be on export-oriented industries and tourism.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded that Indonesia collected US$168.73 billion from exports in 2017, a 16.22 per cent increase compared with $144.43 billion in 2016.
Meanwhile, Thailand's exports totalled US$236.69 billion in 2017, while Vietnam’s exports were recorded at $213.77 billion.
The BI recorded that as of November, Indonesia's foreign debt was recorded at US$343 billion, a 9.1 per cent increase compared with the same period last year.